Thursday, July 23, 2009

What If Obama Held a Press Conference and Nobody Came?

That's sort of what happened last night at President Obama's So You Think You Need Healthcare Non-info press conference. The problem with holding press conferences when you don't know what you're talking about is that it becomes obvious early that, well, you don't know what you're talking about.

In Obama's case, he doesn't know what he's talking about because he (a) has no proposal and (b) hasn't even read any of the proposals out there. It's very hard to pontificate on the importance of "reforming health care" when you can't come up with better answers than "we'll pay for the cheap blue pill over the expensive red pill." Like HMOs and other insurance haven't been doing that for years (which is also why your favorite medications may be on "Plan 2" or "Plan 50," versus the inexpensive "Plan 1" prescription option).

Worse, in trying to defend his urgent need to take over reform health care NOW, Obama actually maligned greedy pediatricians for yanking out your kids' tonsils. Is Obama really so clueless that he thinks your kids' doctor orders surgery for children who don't need it? Most people complain that they can't get surgeries they need; now we're hearing that there's a nefarious underground industry in overprescribing surgery.

Link: O tonsils

It's purely anecdotal, but my experience with my three kids and the kids of everyone I know is that doctors tend to shy away from surgery as an option. They'll typically give your kid multiple rounds of amoxycilin (as in years of it) before ever discussing removing the tonsils. And it's not just tonsils. I don't think I've ever seen the doctor yell, "Cha-ching!" when he diagnosed a patient with cancer, appendicitis, tumors, broken bones or any disease that might require surgery.

Karl at Patterico's Pontifications notes the real problem with Obama's no-news press conference:
With healthcare reform hitting obstacles in Congress, the expectation was that Obama would say or do something to advance the ball down the field, but it did not happen. Pres. Obama was in campaign mode, but it was still the campaign of a candidate who wants the job — describing the problem, while avoiding the tough realities of a solution. Pres. Obama now has the job, and looks like he isn’t doing it.


UPDATE: Here's the New York Times's fact check of Obama's claims. When the NYT is no longer accepting your B.S., Mr. President, you're in trouble.